Explained: A bloke's guide to the Boxing Day sales

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Normally I joke that the best thing about Christmas is that there is only one sleep until the Boxing Day test match.

Unfortunately, with the restrictions on capacity at the MCG due to COVID-19, a trip to the cricket is a luxury that will only fall to a lucky few this year and I’m not one of them.

What do people do on Boxing Day if they don’t go to the cricket?

Apparently, there is some boat race on as well, but I don’t smoke cigars or have servants bringing me drinks and preparing my meals, so that doesn’t really appeal either.

I have seen on the news some talk about Boxing Day sales, seems a bit mental, but apparently there are huge savings to be had. Maybe I’ll give that a go!

If you are like me and this is your first time attempting to join in the Boxing Day sales madness, here is a guide for some things to you need to know.

Start early
This isn’t like the Boxing Day test where you can roll out of bed late, nursing a hangover from Christmas Day and still catch the first ball at 10am. There are some serious shoppers around and the queues start building early.

Also, because you are not going to spend the day drinking, you’ll probably end up driving and that means you’ll have to leave plenty of time to find a parking spot, or possibly enough time to park some distance from the shops and walk some way to your destination.

Do your research
Make a list of the things you want to buy and check retailer websites before you leave the house, so you know exactly which shops you want to go to on the day. By looking up your ‘must have’ items online, you’ll also be able to compare prices between shops and know that you’re getting the best deal.

Don’t get conned
Just because it has a sale sticker, it doesn’t mean you’re getting a bargain. Being surrounded by frenzied, sale-crazed shoppers can make you want to snap up every ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ offer you see but, in reality, those sales are probably going to be there for a while. Many clothing stores reduce prices well before Christmas and don’t offer further markdowns on Boxing Day, so there’s often no urgency to nab clothing at this particular time. 

Know your rights
Often, if you commit to buying something on sale you’re agreeing to a no-returns policy. This is true of many items, such as clothing, electronics and furniture. All shops should display a sign that advises customers whether returns are accepted on sale items, but if you’re unsure ask the salesperson before you purchase the item. When purchasing display models, keep in mind that you might not receive all the usual documentation, such as warranty documents or manuals, but this won’t affect your statutory rights.

Good luck with your shopping, but if it all gets too hard, remember you can always head home and watch the Test match on the box!

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